Former Tennessee standout and current Philadelphia Eagles rookie defensive end Derek Barnett received high praise from veteran teammate Fletcher Cox during Super Bowl Media Day on Monday.
“Derek is one of the greatest rookies I’ve ever been around,” Cox said. “He comes to work every day. He listens. He takes coaching. I can tell from his play from Day 1 and the way that he approaches everything up until now. You don’t see those technique mistakes or mental errors with him. Later in the season he was starting to catch up with the game, which is great for him.”
The former No. 14 overall pick recorded 33 sacks during his three seasons at Tennessee, breaking Reggie White’s career sack record and has lived up to lofty expectations as an NFL rookie.
Barnett recorded five sacks and 21 titles in 15 appearances during his first season in Philadelphia, including one sack and two fumbles during the NFC championship. He will also play a crucial role in the Eagles’ quest to win their first Super Bowl in franchise history.
That’s an impressive learning curve for anyone, regardless of the expectations.